Gaika announces debut album, leads with ominous new single ‘Crown & Key’
Brixton-born Gaika has announced his debut album, Basic Volume, will be released on July 27 on Warp Records.
Steeped in gothic multitudes, the forthcoming LP is rich with high-concept imagery and futuristic beats. Gaika wants to shift where “normal” is for black UK artists, and as a result, his music is severely distinct, far from the grime, reggae, or coffee table music he explains defines his region.
Basic Volume will feature production work from modern pop’s greatest provocateur, SOPHIE, as well as Jam City — who worked closely as an executive producer on Kelela’s debut — as well as Dre Skull, Nick Leon, and others.
According to the artist, the LP of “gothic dancehall and industrial electronics” is influenced by “academia, British reggae sound systems, philosophy and political theory… [intersecting] with meditations on his own identity.”
“My thing has always been: be yourself—whatever you are, be that—and people will walk towards it,” it continues with Gaika saying. “I am whatever I say I am. And I want that to apply to all people of colour, all black people. This idea of what we like, make, do and how our art can be defined from outside of us is something I will actively try to disrupt.”
So far, Gaika’s led Basic Volume with the severely sociopolitical new single, “Crown & Key.” “God save the roadmen, goons, and thugs, and the youths beggin’ boots, get their racks from drugs,” he half sings. Evidently refraining from genre limitations, “Crown & Key” is a meeting of industrial dancehall and gothic grime that is unique to Gaika and Gaika alone. His free-thought is carrying an unmistakable air of refreshing British grit, and that’s another incredibly compelling defining feature in itself.